The enteric nervous system (ENS), governs the function of the gut wall. It can be found from the beginning of the oesophagus to the anus throughout the gut wall. Serotonin binds to specific receptors in the gut wall to regulate the "Migrating Motor Complex", which is the normal rhythmic contraction of the bowel wall that moves contents along from the small intestine into the large intestine. When someone gets food poisoning from the bacteria E.coli, the EC cells release a flood of serotonin causing the gut to rapidly contract & expel its contents to eliminate the harmful bacteria. Scientists tell us that people with IBS have abnormal gut levels of Serotonin. Serotonin also contributes to the immune response as Serotonin receptors have been found on immune cells including lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells.
There is still much to be learned in this emerging science, but you can see that things which help balance production of the happy hormone Serotonin such as regular moderate exercise, cultivating calmness & resilience, eating a healthy diet containing sufficient protein & fresh vegetables, minimizing sugar & alcohol, and getting enough sleep are all things we can work on. For individualized help in improving your IBS or SIBO, call:
Sunshine Coast Nutritionist Karen Emans on 0408 748 532